Research · Programme

Learning Analytics and Learning Design

Person contributing to a discussion online.

It is our mission to advance the way teachers design blended and online courses to enhance student behaviour and success.

IET’s world-leading research programme Learning Analytics and Learning Design drives innovative best practice, supporting teachers to design blended, online courses. According to the academic citation database Web of Science, Prof Bart Rienties, Programme Lead for Learning Analytics and Learning Design, is the 6th most prolific author in learning analytics, and the foremost author in learning analytics and learning design.

IET is well published in leading international journals on how to implement learning analytics at scale, including the paper ‘Social Learning Analytics’ by Dr Rebecca Ferguson which is the 3rd most cited paper in learning analytics, as well as our large-scale evaluation on impact of 5 years of predictive learning analytics by Dr Christothea Herodotou.

Investigating, developing and establishing new ways that students can improve their engagement, satisfaction and success within learning, we collaborate together with the Learning Design team with educators across the globe to implement learning techniques which have been grounded by teachers and distance learning module designers of The Open University.

Learning Design is a methodology for teachers, course designers and educational professional to make more informed decisions in how learning activities and interventions are designed. With learning design activities educators can make pedagogically informed decisions with the ability to use new resources and technologies, reframing learning to focus on ‘what students do’ in their learning.

Technological developments have allowed for teachers and researchers to capture and understand the digital traces of learning activities in Virtual Learning Environments (VLEs). The capability to capture rich data about learner behaviour enhances the insight that educators have into how their students react to different learning designs. Our recent research has explored the impacts that different learning designs have on learners and teachers, how different learning designs can support the learner journey to create a balanced workload, and how to provide effective support for diverse groups of learners.

With our learning design expertise spanning across two decades, and recent focus on learning analytics at-scale, this research programmes addresses four key questions:

  1. How useful are the learning analytics and learning design data for teachers and students, and how they could be further improved?
  2. What is the best balance of learning design and learning analytics to improve retention rates?
  3. What is the students’ voice in learning analytics and learning design?
  4. How can we effectively support teachers and organisations to use learning analytics and learning design?


Online kick-off meeting held for RAPIDE

The OU has participated in the kick-off meeting of the RAPIDE (Relevant assessment and pedagogies for inclusive digital education) project.

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Prof Bart Rienties appointed to 2021 SoLAR Executive Committee

SoLAR is the Society for Learning Analytics Research.

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Thought leadership

Exploring participation behaviour of young citizen scientists

IET are working with Natural History Museums.

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Online kick-off meeting held for TEACH4EDU4

The OU joins first meeting of the TEACH4EDU4 project.

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Digital Badges and COVID-19: Enhancing assessments

The Covid-19 pandemic has prompted the need for immediate, innovative solutions to improve assessments.

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